Occupational Exposure of Police Officers to Microwave Radiation From Traffic RADAR Devices Term Paper

  • Length: 9 pages
  • Subject: Transportation
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #52800523

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Occupational Exposure of Police Officers to Microwave Radiation From Traffic RADAR Devices

The exposure of Police officers' radar devices became a frequent usage during the 1970s and has continued to grow extensively over the radar with upgrade of the system. While it proves beneficial to the police department all over the country, the radiation heat has proven to be a danger to health crisis. While the radiation exposure for the police officers are on the extreme end, there are factors that elude insecurity from the traffic radar devices; which are used most frequently for the speeding vehicles and public safety.

Occupational Exposure of Police Officers to Microwave Radiation from Traffic Radar Devices

The branch of law enforcement that regulates traffic on highways and other roads, where an adequate speed limit is to be met, uses a radar gun to calculate the speed of vehicles. Radar is an acronym, which stands for radio dejection and ranging.

Radar works by transmitting electromagnetic energy in the form of waves in the environmental and detecting the energy reflecting by objects. Radar picks up this echo' and calculates its Doppler shift. Radar is based on the Doppler affect, which describes the increasing frequency of waves on a stationery observer, as the moving source heads towards the observer, and similarly, a decrease in frequency as the force moves away. The frequency shift that this radar gun picks from the echo' is directly proportional to the velocity of the moving object that reflects the echo'. (Frequency of a Police Radar Gun: (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/MaxLipkin.shtml).

Radar was developed for military purpose during the 1940s and it was first used to measure the traffic speed by the police in 1950, even though they didn't use the device frequently until the 1970s. Earlier these devices used to be large, cumbersome and suitable for stationery usage i.e. The speed measuring device had to be a form of stationery to obtain an accurate indication of the speeding vehicles. It was during the 1970s when the use for radar increased rapidly and a large number of police officers began to have radar units at their disposal for common or in most cases, daily use. (Occupational Exposure of Police Officers to Microwave Radiation from Traffic Radar Devices: (http://infoventures.com/EMF/FEDERAL/NIOSH/POLICE/pl-rdr5.html).

Though the law enforcement emits microwave radiation as they are relatively harmless because they discharge only 15 to 50 milliwatts of microwave power which is substantially a smaller amount, since power is energy per time. In addition to being low power devices, radar guns emits waves in a rapidly moving fashion, and are called Continuos Waves System. The frequency of the electromagnetic waves emitted by the police radar gun is determined by the Federal Communications Commission and is normally designated in the X band or the K. band. The most common amongst them was the radar gun mounted inside the squad car window or dashboard and lies in the X band frequencies of 10.500-10.550 GHz. The handles version of this radar gun utilizes the K. band frequencies between 24.050-24.250 GHz.

The X band and the K. band radar guns often get vulnerable towards radar detectors, that can catch these frequencies and alert drivers of the upcoming radar guns. This certain fact was revealed with a difficulty, since no one was ready to give out the frequency of this radar, with the fear that radar detectors might be created with the information on this bit of research. But when these devices became known to the public at a reasonably cheap price, the designers for the radar guns started creating guns which utilized the Ka band from 34.200-35.200

GHz. This bit of frequency is currently undetectable by existing radar detectors and therefore, can make devices like the Stalker or the photo-radar quite useful.

Frequency of a Police Radar: (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/MaxLipkin.shtml)

Traffic radar devices have been manufactured by using one of three microwave frequencies, either the X (10.525 GHz), K (24.15 GHz) or Ka-Band (33.40-36.00

GHz). All the devices emit less then 100 milliwatts of microwave power, an amount considered by nearly all concerned to be rather low. Most of the radar units manufactured in the last twenty years have had emitted power in the range of 15-50 milliwatts. While comparing it to any other type of radar, for example, the military, commercial aviation or marines and so on, the power levels of police traffic radar devices are orders of magnitude lower. The emitted power of traffic radar devices, The emitted power of traffic radar devices is comparable or lower then other microwave or radio frequency (RF) radiation-emitting devices used in close proximity to persons in the general public, such as garage door openers, cell phones and infant monitors. Power density emissions and operator exposures were measured, with the Narda 8716 and with HP 4358 using the appropriate frequency (X band and K. band) with a standard gain horn antenna and a power sensor. The HP 5385A and the Holaday 3003 was used to measure frequency output and power density emissions, respectively, from various RF communication devices. Whereas the Ballantine 3440A was used to measure induced body current from an RF communication devices operating in the frequency range of 30-155 MHz. These power density have survey monitors with NIST- traceable calibration within the appropriate frequency for the radars being surveyed. Practically this means that only if the radar antenna was mounted or probably resting in case of a hand held device), within the car or it maybe directed towards the other occupants, the exposure in it is strong enough to be measured with such techniques.

Whereas traffic radar units have been produced in two basic types a one piece unit designed for hand held use and a two piece unit, which's designed for a fixed amount. Hand held units were first introduced during the 1970s. Although most models produced were exclusively designed and used for either hand held or fixed amount operation, while a few hand held models have been designed for optional fixed amount use. It was during that time, when radar units became available that could operate in either a stationery made device or a moving mode. Stationery mode radars were used by an officer in a fixed position, while the moving mode radars could correctly adjust for the motion of the petrol vehicle as it determines the speed of the target vehicles coming towards the petrol.

While these devices have proven their worth and made work easier for traffic police and the police department, there are bioeffects that are reported to result from RF exposure. These include changes in the cell membrane function, major changes in calcium metabolism and cellular signal communication, cell proliferation, activation of proto-oncogenes, activation of HSP heat shock proteins (showing signs of heat when it hardly occurred), and cell death.

Electromagnetic Fields is probably the most rapidly growing environmental pollution in today's environment, which includes Radio Frequency Radiation.

Public exposure to electromagnetic radiation, is growing at a rapidly worldwide with the use of cordless phones, cell phones, pagers and antennas in communities designed to transmit their RF signals. Cell phone exposures can be intense enough to cause DNA damage or failure to repair DNA damage in the brain. It's not exactly the heat that causes this damage, its basically the exposure to non-thermal levels of RFR that interferes with normal body processes in the brain, skull, ears, and the nerves of the head, neck and face.(Microwave and Radiofrequency

Radiation Exposure: A growing environmental health crisis; (http://www.grn.es/electropolucio/omega42.htm)

Scientifically proven the potential for health affects from low intensity RF / MW is not essential for wise public health decision-making, as long as the research continues to identify specific exposure conditions may contribute to disease. The basics about the relationship between electromagnetic fields radiofrequency, microwave radiation and adverse health affects at low intensity exposures relies on two key areas. First being the "weight of the scientific evidence" pointing to a relationship between RF/MW and illness. The scientific matter is reported to those making decisions with a format, which is concise, understandable and accurate. Secondly, the definition of the basic evidence is judged so that its sufficient enough to take interim or permanent public health steps to reduce risk.

Potentially, even as a large world wide public health impact is taken for even a small health risk is present. Interim public health actions is proportionately triggered to the weight of scientific evidence as it grows in support of adverse health affects at low intensity exposure levels. A number of industries have been set and are quite active in setting the research agenda, while they fund RF studies, choose researchers who interpret the results and also provide the media spin on findings.

With a number of studies that has been conducted, some are published concerning the potential operator exposure to the radiation emitted by traffic radars. The most widely reference of these studies was published by Baird et al. (15) of the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), currently known as National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Baird-et al.…

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